Pilgrimage to Calvary
This body of work, documents the Good Friday passion drama, a popular yearly performance and solemnity within the Nigerian (and many other) Catholic Christian communities around easter, a peak of yearly christian celebrations and activities.
The passion Drama is a live dramatic performance that illustrates the final hours of Jesus Christ as presented by the christian bible, from his betrayal and arrest to his journey to calvary where he was crucified. The drama is fashioned after the “Stations of the Cross” a 14-step Catholic devotion that focuses on specific events of His last day, which empower pilgrims to walk directly in the footsteps of their lord.
I started this documentary in 2018 as an exploration of the multifunctional roles of Performance in Religion and in the presenting of Identities. From re-enacting scriptural events to the layout and design of worship activities, either solemn or frivolous, theatrical elements are employed as the visualization of things often believed to be beyond physical manifestation. More relevant to the theme is the use of Performance as a tool of spiritual or "metaphysical transportation" of worshippers to locations across the globe and across timelines to different eras and period that may be considered sacred of special to that religion. Performance as a means of transportation or teleportation can be so powerful that it interestingly, can even bring distant physical locations and timelines, along with their emotions, characters and other detailed properties into the present day, as observed in the documentation. Christianity itself came to West Africa via traveling people, through the same channels that brought slavery and colonialism, the channels today are still being controlled by the same gate keepers that once shared to us, their gospel of “love, freedom and salvation”.